An Emergency Response Centre is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management or disaster management functions at a strategic level during an emergency.
The setting up of the state Emergency Response Centre by the Nigerian Communications Commission in partnership with the state government through the office of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) is a welcome development.
Upon assumption of office as the new Acting Director General of SEMA, Hon. Ayim Princewill began the facilitation of the centre with a view to have a well coordinated centre for response to man-made and natural disaster and also involving kidnapping, armed robbery, fire outbreak, accident among others.
While been conducted round the premises of the centre in Calabar by officials from NCC, Hon. Ayim expressed the state government readiness in ensuring that all distress calls put across to the centre were responded to promptly.
According to him, the centre will help to reduce the devastating effect on cases of emergency and criminality in the state with the dial of the toll free number 112.
The Emergency Response Centre has a fully staffed and trained duty system. Around-the-clock presence ensures real time monitoring and immediate reaction day and night.
Ayim explained that the centre will be running in collaboration with all the security agencies in the state. According to him, each security agency including the Fire Service will deploy five officers for training after which they will be stationed at the centre to be in charge of the emergency response.
He said that the state was desirous to have a centre that can respond to even accident cases.
An official from NCC who explained that MTN service provider has been fully activated into the toll free line, assured that the commission was working towards activating other service providers on board to make it easier for all network subscribers to call in when in distress.
We hope that this commendable idea facilitated by Hon. Ayim will go a long way in curbing cases of criminality in the state.
Furthermore, the state government should procure fire service operational trucks for immediate response to fire outbreaks in the state and to complement the aim behind this centre.